Landmine Monitor Report 2006 reveals that the Mine Ban Treaty and the mine ban movement continue to make good progress toward eradicating antipersonnel landmines and saving lives and limbs in every region of the world. Significant challenges remain, however.
This edition of the Landmine Monitor reports in detail on progress and challenges remaining in over 120 countries, including mine-affected countries and those with substantial stockpiles of antipersonnel mines, and the dwindling minority of states which have not yet joined the Mine Ban Treaty. Landmine Monitor Report 2006 provides an annual update to Landmine Monitor Report 2005.
The reporting period for Landmine Monitor Report 2006 is May 2005 to May 2006. Editors have where possible added important information that arrived later. Statistics for mine action and landmine casualties are usually given for calendar year 2005, with comparisons to 2004.
Increased international rejection of antipersonnel mines
As of 1 July 2006, 151 countries were States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, and another three had signed but not yet ratified, constituting well over three-quarters of the world’s nations. Four signatory states ratified the treaty since the publication of Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Ukraine, Haiti, the Cook Islands and Brunei. Ukraine possesses 6.7 million antipersonnel mines, the world’s fourth largest stockpile. Several states indicated they would accede in the near future, including Indonesia, Kuwait, Palau and Poland. Many states that are not party took steps consistent with the treaty.
Increased support for the goal of eliminating antipersonnel mines
UN General Assembly Resolution 60/80, calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty, was adopted on 8 December 2005, with 158 in favor, none opposed, and 17 abstentions; this was the highest number of votes in favor of this annual resolution and the lowest number of abstentions since 1997 when it was first introduced. Twenty-four states not party to the treaty voted in favor, including Azerbaijan and China for the first time.
Non-State Armed Groups committing to a ban on antipersonnel mines
The Polisario Front in Western Sahara signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment banning antipersonnel mines in November 2005 and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) signed in July 2006.
None of the 40 non-signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty acceded in the past year. Some major stockpilers, producers and users remain outside the treaty, including Burma, China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the United States. Some countries that were reported to be making progress toward the treaty in Landmine Monitor Report 2005 did not report any further progress, such as Bahrain, Oman, Kyrgyzstan, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.
No use of antipersonnel mines by States Parties or signatories
There is no evidence-or even serious allegation-of use of antipersonnel mines by Mine Ban Treaty States Parties or signatories. This is notable because many were users in the recent past before becoming States Parties or signatories.
Three governments using antipersonnel mines
In this reporting period, at least three governments continued using antipersonnel mines-Myanmar (Burma), Nepal and Russia-with the most extensive use in Myanmar. However, in May 2006, the government of Nepal and Maoist rebels agreed to a cease-fire and a Code of Conduct that includes non-use of landmines. These three governments and Georgia were identified as users in Landmine Monitor Report 2005 and previous reports, establishing themselves as the only ongoing state-users of antipersonnel mines.
Non-State Armed Groups using antipersonnel mines
Non-state armed groups are using antipersonnel mines in more countries than government forces, but NSAG use is also on the decline. In this reporting period, NSAGs used antipersonnel mines or antipersonnel mine-like improvised explosive devices in at least 10 countries, including in three States Parties (Burundi, Colombia and Guinea-Bissau) and in seven non-States Parties (Burma, India, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia/Chechnya and Somalia). Landmine Monitor Report 2005 cited NSAG use of antipersonnel mines in at least 13 countries. Guinea-Bissau, where Senegalese rebels used mines against the Guinea-Bissau Army, was added to the list, while Georgia, the Philippines, Turkey and Uganda were removed this year.
Production of antipersonnel mines by 13 countries
Landmine Monitor identifies 13 countries as producers of antipersonnel mines, the same as last year: Burma, China, Cuba, India, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. Some of these countries are not actively producing, but reserve the right to do so. The United States, which has not produced since 1997, has been developing new landmine systems that may be incompatible with the Mine Ban Treaty. Vietnamese officials told a Canadian delegation in November 2005 that Vietnam no longer produces antipersonnel mines, a statement Landmine Monitor is attempting to confirm and clarify. At least 38 countries have ceased production of antipersonnel mines, including five states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
De facto global ban on trade in antipersonnel mines
For the past decade, global trade in antipersonnel mines has consisted solely of a low-level of illicit and unacknowledged transfers. In this reporting period, there were only a small number of reports of such trafficking in antipersonnel mines.
UN panel allegation of transfer of antipersonnel mines
A UN panel leveled the most serious and specific allegation ever of a transfer of antipersonnel mines by a Mine Ban Treaty State Party. In May 2006, a UN arms embargo monitoring group reported that the government of Eritrea had delivered 1,000 antipersonnel mines to militant fundamentalists in Somalia in March 2006. Eritrea denied the claims as “baseless and unfounded” and labeled the report as “outrageous and regrettable.”
Millions of stockpiled antipersonnel mines destroyed
In this reporting period, four States Parties completed destruction of their stockpiles: Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Algeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Seventy-four States Parties have completed destruction, and another 64 never possessed mines, leaving 13 States Parties with stocks to destroy. Some 700,000 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed by States Parties since the last Landmine Monitor report. States Parties collectively have destroyed more than 39.5 million antipersonnel mines.
Millions of mines stockpiled by non-States Parties
Landmine Monitor estimates that non-States Parties stockpile over 160 million antipersonnel mines, with the vast majority held by a just five states: China (est. 110 million), Russia (26.5 million), US (10.4 million), Pakistan (est. 6 million) and India (est. 4-5 million). South Korea for the first time reported a stockpile total (407,800); officials previously indicated a stock of some two million antipersonnel mines. Signatory Poland holds nearly one million antipersonnel mines.
Too many mines retained for training, too few explanations why
Over 227,000 antipersonnel mines are retained by 69 States Parties under the exception granted by Article 3 of the treaty. Five States Parties account for nearly one-third of all retained mines: Brazil, Turkey, Algeria, Bangladesh and Sweden. Too few States Parties have reported in any detail on why they are retaining mines, and in many cases it does not appear the mines are being utilized at all. Only 11 States Parties made use of the new format to report on the intended purposes and actual uses of retained mines that was agreed at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in December 2005.
Decreased numbers of mines retained for training and development
The number of retained mines decreased by about 21,000 in this reporting period. An additional five states chose not to retain any mines and/or destroyed existing retained stocks: DR Congo, Eritrea, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Moldova. At least 71 States Parties have chosen not to retain any antipersonnel mines.
Continued high-rate of initial transparency reporting
States Parties' compliance with the treaty requirement to submit an initial transparency report held steady at 96 percent in 2005, with Cameroon and Latvia providing reports.
Late transparency reporting
As of 1 July 2006, six States Parties had not submitted overdue initial Article 7 reports: Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, Gambia, Sao Tome e Principe, Guyana and Ethiopia. For the second year in a row, there was a decrease in compliance with the requirement to submit an annual update Article 7 report. As of 1 July 2006, 90 states had submitted updated reports due 30 April 2006, or 62 percent.
An increasing number of States Parties are making their views known on key matters of treaty interpretation and implementation.
Albania, Chad, Cyprus, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Yemen provided their national understandings of the Article 1 prohibition on assisting banned acts, particularly with respect to joint military operations with non-States Parties; all were in basic agreement with the views of the ICBL. Albania, Croatia, Germany, Estonia, Guatemala, Kenya, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Yemen expressed the view, shared by the ICBL, that any mine (even if labeled an antivehicle mine) capable of being detonated by the unintentional act of a person is prohibited, and/or expressed the view, also shared by the ICBL, that any mine with a tripwire, break wire, or tilt rod is prohibited.
A reduction in the number of mine-affected countries
Landmine Monitor research identified at least 78 nations as being affected to some degree by landmines in mid-2006, of which 51 are party to the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as eight areas not internationally recognized as independent states or over which jurisdiction is contested. Two States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty―Guatemala and Suriname―reported completing clearance of all mined areas in 2005.
Increased demining productivity
In 2005, a total of more than 740 square kilometers was demined, the highest annual productivity since modern demining started in the late 1980s. Three major mine action programs alone―in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia and Yemen―reduced the extent of suspected contamination by almost 340 square kilometers. Over 470,000 landmines―the great majority (450,000) were antipersonnel mines―and more than 3.75 million explosive devices were destroyed.
Too many States Parties not on course to meet Article 5 deadlines for completing mine clearance
Too many States Parties appear not to be on course to meet their Article 5 deadlines, including at least 13 of the 29 States Parties with 2009 or 2010 deadlines - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Denmark, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Tajikistan, Thailand, the United Kingdom (Falklands), Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Expanded mine risk education
Mine risk education programs expanded in many countries with new projects and activities in 28 countries, a notable development from 2004 (15 countries). For the first time, MRE activities were recorded in China. The number of community volunteers and of national NGOs implementing community-based MRE increased. Landmine Monitor recorded MRE in 60 countries and eight areas in 2005-2006; 39 of the countries are States Parties, and 21 are non-States Parties.
Increased casualties in 2005-2006
Reported casualties increased to 7,328 in 2005―11 percent more than in 2004. In 2005-2006, there were new casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war recorded in 58 countries (the same as last year) and seven areas (one less). (However, Landmine Monitor continues to estimate there are 15,000-20,000 new casualties each year – see below). In 2005, casualties were reported in seven countries that did not report casualties in 2004: Chile, Honduras, Kenya, Moldova, Morocco, Namibia and Peru. In 2005-2006, intensified conflict resulted in both more civilian and more military (national and foreign) mine and ERW casualties in several countries including: Chad, Colombia, Pakistan, Burma/Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
ERW casualties in more countries
Landmine Monitor has identified another 16 countries (up from 12) and one area (none in 2004) with no new landmine casualties in 2005-2006 but with casualties caused exclusively by explosive remnants of war: Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Poland, Republic of Congo, Tunisia, Ukraine and Zambia, as well as Kosovo. In 11 of these countries Landmine Monitor did not record ERW casualties in 2004.
Increasing number of mine survivors and mine victims
Progress in data collection indicates there are approximately 350,000 to 400,000 mine survivors in the world today; there may well be as many as 500,000. With only 10 of the 58 countries and seven areas that had casualties in 2005-2006 able to provide complete full-year data, and with significant under-reporting, Landmine Monitor continues to estimate there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new landmine/ERW casualties each year. There are some preliminary indications this estimate may be revised downward in future years. More importantly, the number of survivors continues to grow―and their needs are long-term.
Increased attention to victim assistance
States Parties increased support to 24 countries with significant numbers of survivors, leading to the development of tools, objectives and action plans, better follow-up of progress, accountability, best practices for increased survivor inclusion, better coordination, and integration with development. However, in 2005 existing programs were far from meeting the needs of landmine survivors; in 49 of 58 countries with casualties in 2005-2006 one or more aspect of assistance remains inadequate. Providers continue to face many of the same problems as in previous years including inadequate access to care, variety and effectiveness of assistance, capacity, rights implementation and funding.
Significant international mine action funding in 2005
International funding of mine action funding totaled US$376 million in 2005, the second highest funding to date and $37 million more than two years ago. The top four donors were: United States ($81.9 million), European Commission ($51.5 million), Japan ($39.3 million) and Norway ($36.5 million). Of the top 20 donors, half provided more mine action funding in 2005: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Decrease in international funding of mine action
The 2005 total of $376 million was down $23 million, almost six percent, from 2004. This is the first time that global mine action funding has decreased meaningfully since 1992, when states first began to devote significant resources to mine action. Of the top 20 donors, half provided less mine action funding in 2005: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United States and the European Commission. The global decrease largely reflects big reductions from the two most significant donors: the European Commission (down $14.9 million) and the United States (down $14.6 million).
Recipients of mine action funding
Countries receiving the most mine action funding in 2005 were: Afghanistan ($66.8 million), Sudan ($48.4 million), Angola ($35.8 million), Iraq ($27.8 million) and Cambodia ($23.9 million). The largest increases in funding was received by Sudan (up $33.4 million, over three times the 2004 total). Other recipients with increases of at least $1 million included: Abkhazia, Albania, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau and Uganda.
Decreased funding to many mine-affected countries
Drastic reductions in mine action funding occurred in Iraq (down $30.9 million, 53 percent), Afghanistan ($25 million, 27 percent) and Cambodia ($17.7 million, 43 percent). Other countries with substantial decreases in 2005 included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Jordan, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan.
Some major mine action programs hit by funding shortfalls
Mine action programs in at least five mine-affected countries were limited by major funding shortfalls: Afghanistan, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Mauritania, and Tajikistan; in Croatia, parliamentarians called for increased government funding for mine action.
Inadequate funding of mine victim assistance
Several survivor assistance programs had serious funding shortfalls in 2005, preventing the delivery of essential services to mine survivors, their families and communities―despite an increase of about 29 percent in funding identified for victim assistance, to $37 million. Much of this gain may be attributed to changes in reporting. Much greater levels of sustained funding are needed for mine survivor assistance programs.
More national funding by mine-affected countries
Some mine-affected countries invested more national resources in mine action in 2005, notably Croatia ($32.4 million, or 57 percent of mine action expenditure) and Bosnia and Herzegovina ($11.3 million, or 44 percent of expenditure). Larger contributions were also made by Azerbaijan and Chile. In 2005, some mine-affected countries reported decreases in national contributions to mine action, including: Colombia, Mozambique and Thailand.